The rambling rook - A tribute to Tim Krabbé - part I

The rambling rook - A tribute to Tim Krabbé - part I

May 2, 2014, 11:30 PM |

A few weeks ago I suddenly realized that not "My System" and "My 60 memorable games" had been the most inspiring chess books for me years ago.

No ... The chess books that did put the chessboard on fire for me were two chess books by Tim Krabbe.

I then decided that I wanted to read those books again, so I searched for them, and I ended up at (dutch) and bought them there second hand.

The website is run by Marc Speijers, who was a fellow chess club member of mine at Schaakclub Utrecht many years ago.

I didn't run into Marc since some years, and I was happy to talk about chess books with him during a nice sunny day.

On the way back I was very happy with the two books, and I hastily started searching for the topics that had inspired me so much.

* The rambling rook (In dutch : De dolle toren)

* The king walk, or "Steel King" (In dutch : De wandelkoning)

During the searching I also found (re-found) this fascinating chapter about Jan Hein Donner with Donner his ever surprising remarks, and an even more surprising amount of short losses from Donner against other chess players ... Laughing

Let's have a look at the "Rambling rook" in detail first :

When I started reading the Chess Curiosities books by Krabbe I probably knew about the self sacrificing stalemate tricks from rooks and other pieces.

But here this writer (Krabbe) started talking about how to "tame" these insane creatures on the board.

I vaguely remember my huge surprise and excitement reading that chapter.

Here was a chess player who described an almost mathematic method for taming these crazy rooks, and with that method "refuting" solutions of studies and chess positions from some big (and small) names in chess history !

The "Crazy Rook" position that fascinated me most in this chapter was inside this chess composition shown here below.

First let's look at the main variation of this composition :

Now the "crazy rook" part is shown by Krabbe :


Here's another "taming" of the crazy rook from that book chapter.

Black to move, and white wins :

To summarize : I am very grateful to Tim Krabbe for collecting an enormous amount of chess curiosities, and sharing them with other chess players all over the world.

In part II of this tribute I'd like to continue with the winning king walk, "The Steel King".

And here's some weblinks : (in dutch)